iOS 17.3: New Features, Improvements, and Release Date Revealed

What you should know

  • Apple has released the first iOS 17.3 beta following the official release of iOS 17.2. The new update could be released in late January or early February.
  • The latest iOS 17.3 beta 2 had to be pulled by Apple due to an issue causing iPhones with the Back Tap feature to get stuck in a bootloop, rendering the phone unusable. This issue has been resolved as of mid-January.
  • Apple is expected to launch iOS 17.3 in the week of January 22-26, according to a footnote in an Apple Newsroom story.
  • New features in iOS 17.3 include Stolen Device Protection, which adds extra security layers to prevent unauthorized changes to essential security settings, and collaborative playlists on Apple Music, which allow multiple people to edit public playlists.

Full Story

So, you know how it goes. Apple drops a major update for its mobile OS, and we’re all expecting a new iOS beta to follow. That’s exactly what happened when iOS 17.2 hit the scene. Apple didn’t waste any time and rolled out the first iOS 17.3 beta.

Now, don’t ask me if iOS 17.3 is going to be a major or minor update. It’s too early to tell, but the new features are definitely something to talk about. Minor iOS updates are a bit of a wild card when it comes to release dates. But if I had to guess, I’d say iOS 17.3 might be coming our way late January or early February.

Remember when Apple had to pull the latest iOS 17.3 beta 2? Yeah, that wasn’t fun. iPhones with the Back Tap feature enabled got stuck in a bootloop. Double Tap, Triple Tap, didn’t matter. You were headed for bootloop city, and your phone was pretty much a brick. This just goes to show, beta software can be a bit dicey. But, hey, Apple should’ve known better, right?

If you found yourself in this mess, you could always roll back to a previous iOS version like iOS 17.3 beta 1 or iOS 17.2.1. That is, of course, if you had a recent backup to restore your data and apps (and you should always have one).

Good news, though! As of mid-January, it seems like the iOS 17.3 beta 2 issue has been sorted out. The beta update is back up and available for download. And it looks like it’s mostly issue-free.

Now, let’s talk about the iOS 17.3 release date. Word on the street is that Apple is planning to launch iOS 17.3 in the week of January 22-26. This little tidbit was tucked away in an Apple Newsroom story about the upcoming Unity Bloom iPhone and iPad wallpaper. Apparently, you’ll need iOS 17.3 to install it.

So, what’s new with iOS 17.3? Well, there’s the Stolen Device Protection feature. This adds a bunch of protection layers to iOS, making it harder for the bad guys to mess with your security settings. You’ll need to authenticate with your biometrics to change your iCloud password, turn off Lost Mode, or erase an iPhone at an unfamiliar location.

This is to prevent thieves who’ve somehow gotten hold of your iPhone and passcode from locking you out of your device. You can enable Stolen Device Protection by going to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and flipping the switch. Disabling it, however, requires a successful Face ID authentication.

Another cool feature is the collaborative playlists on Apple Music. This was missing from the official iOS 17.2 release, but it’s included in the first iOS 17.3 beta. This feature lets your friends contribute to your Apple Music playlist. They can add, remove, and rearrange songs. The Now Playing interface even lets users react to song selections with emojis. How 2024 is that?

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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